Good News, America: We're in a 'Polar Vortex'
It is really cold in more than half the country
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2014 11:54 AM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2014 7:13 PM CST
A pedestrian walks along Massachusetts Street as snow falls in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. The area is under a winter weather advisory and wind chill warnings.    (Orlin Wagner)

(Newser) – Baby, it's so cold outside that the AP is throwing around the term "polar vortex," which is apparently "a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air"—and it's got more than half the US wrapped in its icy clutches. It's not going anywhere anytime soon: The frigid temps are looking to hang out into tomorrow and Tuesday. A look around at the coldness:

  • The mercury hit negative 31 in International Falls, Minn., negative 21 in Duluth, Minn., and 9 below in Bismarck, ND. Wind chills of 70 below are still within the real of possibility. Parts of Missouri and Illinois could get up to a foot of snow; the former is "experiencing thunder snow and whiteout conditions," according to a MoDOT spokeswoman.

  • Thousands of flights have been delayed in the Midwest and Northeast, AccuWeather reports. Flight delays at Boston's Logan International Airport could last "days, not hours," said a Jet Blue Airways spokeswoman, the Boston Globe reports.
  • Minnesota has canceled school tomorrow for the entire state. In Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison have done likewise.
  • In Green Bay, today's playoff game between the Packers and the 49ers could prove a little chilly for the visiting team: The temperature at kickoff is supposed to be negative 2. The AP notes that doctors are advising fans to drink warm fluids that are not of the alcoholic variety.
  • And of course, this happened at JFK Airport, which has since re-opened.